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Self-sustaining Shetland


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Thank you everyone who has supported the campaign in any form so far. 

If you wish to register as a member you can do so on the Wir Shetland website http://www.wirshetland.org 
The site is still under construction but some features are available. Full memberships cost a flat fee of £10 and this gets you full voting rights at any meetings, the bank account for this is not active yet but will be soon. An associated membership shows your support and is free but you don't get voting rights.

There will soon be a forum on the site also to discuss the campaign and any ideas. We hope for free flowing honest debate (constructive criticism welcomed!) on here rather than the silly arguments that sometimes arise on some online discussions. 

There is also an active Wir Shetland Facebook page and Twitter account. 

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Took a look at the web site and, OK but, I think that you would need to be a bit more explicit in just what you are asking people to support..

 

BOT status is fine with me but, what comes after that?

 

I know that it is 'early days' but, there would need to be some kind of "promise" with respect to several issues that are as important as the main objective.

 

1st off, and assuming that there may be a degree of succes in the venture, what is being offered to the voters in the way of a legally binding constitution?

Such a document, IMHO, would need to be constructed in such a way that it strictly limits the power and scope of any elected government and would need to include "recall" (set at quite a low level), amongst other mechanisms, that may be employed by the electorate.

It would also need to contain words such as "inviolate" in order to prevent it being modified without massive consensus.

It's not that I don't trust "politicians" (much) it's that when you have a bath full of dirty water, the scum(?) always floats to the top....

 

2nd.  A "Bill of Rights" which also contains words such as "inviolate"..

 

3rd  A completely independent judiciary, elected by the voters, free of government appointees etc and, sworn to uphold the constitution/bill of rights..  Such a body should be directly responsible for ensuring that any parts of the constitution/bill of rights are not manipulated in any way and, if necessary, have the final say on any proposed legislation..

 

Flights of fancy, maybe but, if you want us to take a "leap into the dark", it might be an idea to let us know just what we might land on..

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Took a look at the web site and, OK but, I think that you would need to be a bit more explicit in just what you are asking people to support..

 

BOT status is fine with me but, what comes after that?

 

I know that it is 'early days' but, there would need to be some kind of "promise" with respect to several issues that are as important as the main objective.

 

1st off, and assuming that there may be a degree of succes in the venture, what is being offered to the voters in the way of a legally binding constitution?

Such a document, IMHO, would need to be constructed in such a way that it strictly limits the power and scope of any elected government and would need to include "recall" (set at quite a low level), amongst other mechanisms, that may be employed by the electorate.

It would also need to contain words such as "inviolate" in order to prevent it being modified without massive consensus.

It's not that I don't trust "politicians" (much) it's that when you have a bath full of dirty water, the scum(?) always floats to the top....

 

2nd.  A "Bill of Rights" which also contains words such as "inviolate"..

 

3rd  A completely independent judiciary, elected by the voters, free of government appointees etc and, sworn to uphold the constitution/bill of rights..  Such a body should be directly responsible for ensuring that any parts of the constitution/bill of rights are not manipulated in any way and, if necessary, have the final say on any proposed legislation..

 

Flights of fancy, maybe but, if you want us to take a "leap into the dark", it might be an idea to let us know just what we might land on..

Some good points. More details will come as the campaign progresses. What do you mean by "recall"? Do you mean if the public is unhappy with a member of Government they can vote to oust them?

 

Not flights of fancy at all, precisely the kind of ideas we will have to be looking at. We want to create a fair, accountable government that suits the people of Shetland and we have the opportunity to lay it out however we want. 

 

you wont be entitled to any of those as a crown dependency.

Firstly, we would not be a Crown Dependency. Secondly I am not sure what "those" you are referring to? If it is Colin's points then of course we will be entitled to them. 

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as a Crown Dependency we lose our vote to westminster. we are governed by a Governor we may be allowed an elected advisory council but that is all. its a retrograde step from being a democracy even if a poor one. to being ruled by an appointed yes man.

 

In most cases, the Governor must consult with the Executive Council, and accept its advice. There are exceptions however, set out in the constitution, when the Governor is permitted to not consult the Council and even go against its advice, but in this eventuality, the Governor is required to inform the Secretary of State in the UK of the reasons for this action, and in the case of blocking laws passed by the Legislative Assembly, the Secretary of State must give prior authorisation. Under section 67 of the constitution, the Governor may go against the advice of the Council if, in his or her judgement, it would be right to do so in the interests of good governance or if such advice would affect external affairs, defence, internal security (including the police), administration of justice, audit, appointments to the public service, the discipline and removal from office of public officers, and the management of the public service. In all these instances the members of the Executive Council can appeal to the Secretary of State.  

 

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"Some good points. More details will come as the campaign progresses. What do you mean by "recall"? Do you mean if the public is unhappy with a member of Government they can vote to oust them?"

 

Exactly that...Any elected leadership should reflect the wishes of the majority and, if they don't, dump them before they cause any damage.. 

 

As an example;

 

If we already had "recall", would Tavish have voted against the wishes of the local fishing industry knowing that he would almost certainly face a wave of opposition that would have, possibly, cost him his seat or, would he have grown a backbone and a pair of "nadgers"?

 

Recall is a great way of showing our elected representatives who is boss...

That has been discussed amongst the group as being a good way to prevent bad government and would certainly be an option in any new constitution. 

 

@paulb where have you quoted that from exactly? We are not seeking Crown Dependency status from the UK. 

 

Each BOT is constitutionally unique. The degree of self-government depends on the BOT's constitutional relationship with the UK. Larger, more developed BOTs are largely autonomous in regard to their internal affairs, as is the case with Bermuda, Gibraltar, the Falklands, and others. The common thread among them is recognition of UK sovereignty, acknowledgment of the Queen as the Head of State, and British citizenship. For example, Gibraltar has an independent parliament and the governor does not intervene in local affairs; Bermuda is largely self-governed, and practically independent in all areas other than foreign relations and defense.

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I see a claim that "government" takes 80m more than it gives back..

 

Is anyone able to justify that with a breakdown of sorts?

 

eg:  What are the figures for Business Rates, Corporation Tax, PAYE, VAT, Tobacco, Alcohol & Fuel Duty etc.

 

Point is, if we are going to be asked to "jump ship" there is going to be no point, unless there is a promise that we will be MUCH better off in those areas at least.

 

Another area that is of concern is "law".

 

Will we be asked to adopt the current legal system OR, will we just "cherry pick" the best bits OR, will we tear the whole lot up and start from scratch? 

Assuming, of course, that any legal framework is compliant with any (yet to be decided upon) constitution/bill of rights...

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I see a claim that "government" takes 80m more than it gives back..

 

Is anyone able to justify that with a breakdown of sorts?

 

eg:  What are the figures for Business Rates, Corporation Tax, PAYE, VAT, Tobacco, Alcohol & Fuel Duty etc.

 

Point is, if we are going to be asked to "jump ship" there is going to be no point, unless there is a promise that we will be MUCH better off in those areas at least.

 

Another area that is of concern is "law".

 

Will we be asked to adopt the current legal system OR, will we just "cherry pick" the best bits OR, will we tear the whole lot up and start from scratch? 

Assuming, of course, that any legal framework is compliant with any (yet to be decided upon) constitution/bill of rights...

That figure came from this SIC report - http://www.shetland.gov.uk/coins/viewSelectedDocument.asp?c=e%97%9Dc%94n%80%87 

 

This is obviously out of date but the SIC only does one of these reports every 7 years. I don't have the breakdown you are asking for to hand but you are right, more detailed figures will have to be presented. Regarding taxes, under full fiscal autonomy we would have the power to set our own to whatever we wished.

 

Regarding law that will be up to the post-autonomy Government. Personally I would think we would initially continue with the current system and change it over a number of years to suit our needs, integrating laws that work in other countries and dumping the ones which are of no value. 

 

And what is the situation regarding windfarms and other renewable energy within Shetland?

If you mean what is our policy on VE then it is that any large scale project such as VE would have to be subject to a referendum before getting approval. We do not have a specific policy regarding renewable energy as yet, this is something that would be developed if we have to go down the route of becoming a political party. 

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